Q1Medicare.com Provides Answers to the Top Medicare Part D $250 Donut Hole Rebate Questions

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Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries reaching the 2010 Medicare Part D Doughnut Hole will automatically receive a $250 rebate check as part of the Affordable Care Act. The $250 rebate is a one-time, tax-free payment that will be sent to beneficiaries reaching the Coverage Gap phase of their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The rebate is not available to anyone who is receiving financial Extra-Help with their prescription drug costs. Medicare beneficiaries can expect to reach their Doughnut Hole sometime in 2010 if their average monthly retail prescription costs exceed $235. Q1Medicare has updated their online Doughnut Hole planning tools and Frequently Asked Questions in order to help the Medicare community understand the 2010 Doughnut Hole $250 rebate.

The only real problem with the $250 rebate is that it is so simple. Many people are contacting us just to confirm that they do not need to do anything after reaching their Coverage Gap.

Q1Medicare.com has updated their online Donut (or Doughnut) Hole budgeting tools and added a section to their Frequently Asked Questions to help the Medicare community understand the 2010 Medicare Part D $250 Doughnut Hole (or Coverage Gap) rebate.

As part of the new Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries reaching the Doughnut Hole portion of their 2010 Medicare prescription drug plan will automatically receive a tax-free $250 rebate check from the federal government. The first mailing of rebate checks is underway and should be arriving to approximately 80,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the next few days.

The rebate is not available to everyone. Although millions of Medicare beneficiaries will receive the 2010 rebate, if a person’s average monthly retail prescription drug costs are under $235, they probably will not enter the 2010 Doughnut Hole, and will not receive the $250 rebate. Also, Medicare beneficiaries who receive financial Extra-Help are not eligible for the $250 rebate.

The Doughnut Hole is the portion of most Medicare prescription drug plans where beneficiaries are 100% responsible for their own prescription drug costs. The 2010 Doughnut Hole usually begins when a person’s total retail prescription drug costs exceeds $2,830.

To help the Medicare community visualize how close they are to their 2010 Doughnut Hole, Q1Medicare.com has update their online 2010 PDP-Planner or Doughnut Hole Calculator. The PDP-Planner allows users to enter monthly, quarterly, and/or annual retail drug costs and then displays the monthly changes in the user’s prescription drug plan coverage.

After the initial June 2010 mailing, rebate checks will be mailed about every thirty days to Medicare beneficiaries whose prescription drug spending has brought them into the Doughnut Hole. The checks will be sent automatically 45 days after Medicare beneficiaries reach the Doughnut Hole. Medicare beneficiaries do not need to complete any forms or provide any additional information.

“We received so many questions from the Medicare community that we now have included some of the more popular topics in a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions section,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director and co-founder of Q1Group LLC. “The only real problem with the $250 rebate is that it is so simple. Many people are contacting us just to confirm that they do not need to do anything after reaching their Coverage Gap.”

The $250 rebate checks are only available in 2010 and each person can receive no more than one check. Next year, seniors who reach the 2011 Doughnut Hole will not receive a rebate, but instead they will be given a 7% discount on generic drugs and 50% discount on brand name drugs.

About the Website Q1Medicare.com
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan information. Q1Medicare.com offers online tools, Frequently Asked Questions, a free monthly Medicare Part D Newsletter and tutorials all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, advocates, advisors, and insurance agents navigate the Medicare prescription drug program. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).

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Lynnea Christner

Susan Johnson MS-MIS, MBA, PhD
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